In Thursday’s Orlando Sentinel Edition, 4/7, there is a small article about the Police shooting in Baton Rouge, LA., and the decision of the Justice Dept. to NOT bring charges against the officers who fatally shot Alton Sterling on July 5th, 2016. This story was buried on page 6, not where it should have been, which is on the front cover. Instead of, say “Tree Crew Rescues, Reunites Woodpeckers.”
Read “Curbing Excessive Force: A Primer on Barriers to Police Accountability”, a briefing paper released in April by the American Constitution Society, and you will see that police in America are literally getting away with murder. In 2015, approximately 1,080 people were killed by the police, according to the Justice Department (The Guardian newspaper puts the number at 1,146). Bad enough, but here’s where it gets worse.
Since 2005, ONLY 54 officers have been charged in homicide cases and ONLY 13 officers have been convicted of murder or manslaughter, according to data collected by Bowling Green State University. Of those 54 policemen, 21 have been acquitted and the remaining cases are pending.
“The high acquittal rate is perhaps even more troubling given that in
80% of these cases, one of the following occurred: there was a video recording of the incident, the victim was shot in the back, other officers testified against the shooter, or a cover-up was alleged.”
Not done yet with bad numbers. What is NOT stated here, is the total, the Grand total from 2005 to 2015. Let’s just estimate some numbers. Based on the research I’ve done so far, these shootings haven’t just ramped up, but have been steady over the last decade or so. So, for argument’s sake, lets take 1,000/year. That means between 2005 and 2014, 10,000 shootings/killings here in the United States, by cops and out of 10,000 or so, 13 OFFICERS HAVE BEEN CONVICTED! And out of these 10,000 killings, ONLY 54 officers have EVEN been criminally charged! Does this in itself seem “criminal”? How can this be? Why don’t we, as Americans know this stuff? Why isn’t this being reported? What can we do about this?
Well as subscribers, we can DEMAND from our News source that their reporters and editors investigate this crime and begin to hold Police accountable and the Justice Dept accountable too.
Just yesterday, the Justice Dept. announced that it will not be bringing charges against the police officers who shot and killed Alton Sterling in this past July. People wonder why the Black community and the broader white community, no longer trusts local Law Enforcement, with obvious laws being broken, by the police themselves, police unions and the Justice Dept?
What can we do? Well here’s my suggestion. Have Congress pass a law so if there is ANY doubt how a civilian was shot and/or killed, the PRIMARY LEGAL Review will be made by the Community leaders and members. Not Police, Police Unions or the Justice Dept.
When cops, bad cops, under-trained cops or nervous cops use their weapons, illegally, knowing the odds are WAY in their favor, guns will be used more often and more shots fired. If on the other hand, these cops know they will first face a “Tribunal” made up from the community they serve and not be protected by the “Blue Wall”, things will change and change overnight!
We’ve tried the “other system”, allowing cops to “investigate” crimes done by other cops and we now know what those results will be. It’s time to remove the “wall of protection” of cops protecting other cops, the foxes guarding the hen house, if you will so that police who commit these crimes, must face the people in the community that they are paid to “Protect and Serve”. Now is that time!